The Punjab government has decided to change the nomenclature of two-year degree programs in the province, especially BA/BSc programs, with the two year degree now set to be called an Associate Degree.
However, the ban on admissions in two-year BA/BSc programs will remain intact and anyone already enrolled in a two year program will be awarded an associate degree.
Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri and Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Dr Fazal Ahmad unveiled the details in a press conference on Friday at Arfa Karim Software Park. The press conference was organized after a high-level meeting with stake holders of higher education. The minister said that two years degree program will now be called Associate Degree Program instead of BA/BSc.
He said that the ban on admissions in BA/BSc imposed by HEC will remain intact, however, program will remain same as per annual examination system this year, and only the name would be changed. From next year, the associate degree would be initiated per the needs of the market and up-gradation of colleges within a span of one year, he added.
The minister observed that there was a dire need of changes in the education system, as education system could not be made better without making some necessary alterations. He said the system would be close to perfect in three to four years.
HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri said in 2017, all universities were asked to ban two-year degree programs and the time had come to implement the decision.
Banuri said while exams would be conducted on an annual system this year, a semester system would be implemented later in a phased manner. To a question, he said students enrolled in two years associate degree programs could convert their credit hours into four-year degree programs. “Two year degree program is consisted of 60 credit hours and we will ensure that 55 credit hours will transfer while admitting in BS four years program,” he added.